Assessment of the potential environmental impacts arising from mercury-free dental restorative materials

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dc.contributor.advisor Sullivan, Timothy en
dc.contributor.advisor Harding, Mairead en Binner, Hannah 2020-09-15T09:00:11Z 2020-09-15T09:00:11Z 2019-12 2019-12
dc.identifier.citation Binner, H. 2019. Assessment of the potential environmental impacts arising from mercury-free dental restorative materials. MRes Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 113 en
dc.description.abstract The field of dentistry and with it, the application of dental filling materials, is currently undergoing changes to adopt sustainability and environmental considerations into the clinical environment. This was largely triggered by the reduction of all products in use that contain Hg (mercury), including dental amalgam, through the Minamata Convention of 2013, which has in turn caused a rise in Hg-free dental filling materials that are now becoming increasingly nano-filled. The focus of this study is on the particles released from Hg-free dental fillings. Knowledge gaps regarding the particle load and potential ecotoxicity of the particulate matter resulting from Hg-free materials exist. Moreover, the widely known environmental and human health impacts of Hg contained in dental amalgam have led to the widespread introduction of an amalgam capture device, the amalgam separator. Amalgam separators capture Hg and dental amalgam particles before wastewater discharge occurs. These amalgam separators are required to be installed in Ireland since the 1st of January 2019 in accordance with EU Directive 2017/852. The overarching objective of this thesis has been to assess whether existing amalgam separators are also effective in capturing particulate matter resulting from the use of Hg-free dental filling materials. In order to meet this objective, this study has assessed the wastewater and amalgam separator capture efficiency in three dental practices in Cork, Ireland. Three dental practices were selected based on the type of amalgam separator in use and focus of service based on private or public practice and high, medium or low utilisation. Physical and chemical parameters of dental wastewater (DWW), including pH, temperature, conductivity, Total suspended solids (TSS) and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) have been measured. Detailed analysis of particles found in these wastewater streams has been conducted using optical and scanning electron microscopy. The potential ecotoxicity of these waste streams has also undergone preliminary assessment by conducting standardised Daphnia magna immobilisation tests. The results indicate that variation in the discharged DWWs exists, which is likely linked to the use of disinfection products, and has led to extreme observations of pH, conductivity, Total suspended solids and Total dissolved solids. Ecotoxicity results confirmed this and showed that the raw DWW caused an EC50 response at concentrations between 0.1 to 6.69 % DWW/L medium. The particulate load in the three DPs was substantial. A high abundance of microparticles was identified and trends were consistent across the three DPs. It was therefore concluded that amalgam separators may not be sufficient in capturing the particulate matter released from Hg-free dental filling materials. Further research is needed to identify the environmental fate of the particles that are released, particularly nanomaterials, as they have the potential to remain in the water after wastewater treatment has occurred. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2019, Hannah Binner. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Minamata convention en
dc.subject Daphnia magna en
dc.subject Dentistry en
dc.subject Waste streams en
dc.subject Ecotoxicity en
dc.subject Particle analysis en
dc.subject Nano-particles en
dc.subject Mercury-free en
dc.subject Resin composites en
dc.subject Dental filling material en
dc.subject Amalgam separator en
dc.subject Wastewater en
dc.title Assessment of the potential environmental impacts arising from mercury-free dental restorative materials en
dc.type Masters thesis (Research) en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en
dc.type.qualificationname MSc - Master of Science en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.contributor.funder Environmental Protection Agency en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences en Cork University Dental School and Hospital en
dc.internal.conferring Autumn 2020 en
dc.internal.ricu Environmental Research Institute (ERI) en
dc.internal.ricu Oral Health Services Research Centre en
dc.relation.project Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Research Programme 2014-2020, Grant Award No. 2017-HW-MS-11) en
dc.availability.bitstream embargoed 2022-01-05

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